Sony Picks Kazuo Hirai as New President/CEO – Digital Transformation is Second Nature

Posted by at 12:15 pm on February 1, 2012

Sony has named Kazuo Hirai president/CEO, effective April 1, with current chairman, CEO/president Howard Stringer to become chairman of the board of directors in June 2012.

The move has been speculated upon for the past year, Sony said in a statement that Stringer recommended to the Sony board that Hirai, currently executive deputy president, be his successor as president/CEO.

Stringer will continue as chairman of Sony Corporation until his ascension to the board chairmanship, which will become effective upon board approval following the annual meeting of shareholders in June, when the current chairman, Yotaro Kobayashi, will retire.

Hirai is also expected to be appointed to the board at the June shareholders meeting.

In a statement, Stringer said, “Three years ago, I started to work with the board on succession plans, and in February 2009 we named a new generation of leaders to be my management team. Among them was Kaz Hirai, who had distinguished himself through his work in the PlayStation and networked entertainment businesses. Kaz is a globally focused executive for whom technology and the Cloud are familiar territory, content is highly valued, and digital transformation is second nature.”

Hirai said in a statement, “As challenging as times are for Sony now, were it not for the strong leadership of Sir Howard Stringer these past seven years, we would have been in a much more difficult position. The path we must take is clear: to drive the growth of our core electronics businesses — primarily digital imaging, smart mobile and game; to turn around the television business; and to accelerate the innovation that enables us to create new business domains.

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